Karl M E C A Heidt

Survivor | 09 November 1896 | Ear, nose and throat specialist (ENT)

Karl M E C A  HeidtBorn in Austria. As general practitioner he specialized as Ear, Nose and Throat specialist and established a practice in Bandung. He did not register with the professional association for (Dutch) ENT specialists. The address clipping shown here is taken from the Bandung telephone directory of 1936.

Karl Heidt appears in the Nias group portrait. His name is often misspelled and confused with "Dr Heldt" who is also a Van Imhoff survivor and even shared the same life boat with Karl Heidt.

Karl Heidt is remembered as Nazi sympathizer and as a very helpful, empathic person. At times he even stands up for the Dutch captives on Nias and protects them against aggressive Indonesian guards and the invading Japanese army. Heidt was a member of the local Nazi party in Bandung and is often seen wearing his Nazi medal during public events on Nias.

With the deportation and internment of the Dutch citizens from Nias, the Japanese force doctor Heidt to stay behind as one of the few reliable medics around. However, his deepest wish is to start a medical practice again in Sumatra. His loneliness gets the better of him. In August 1942 he takes an overdose of sleeping pills and dies on 3 September 1942. He is honoured with a respectful burialceremony. His headstone on Nias near Gunung Sitoli reads "Einsam aber unter Freunde gestorben": lonely but deceased among friends.

On 15 March 2015 (see timeline on this site) Ben Wirawan uses similar information from the website Petite Histoire Indonesia by Rosihan Anwar, to re-tell the Van Imhoff story whereby he focuses on the role of survivor Karl Heidt.

Thomas Heindl in Vienna, a great-grandson of Dr Heidt along maternal lines, is currently preparing a biography on Karl Heidt. Thomas is the son of Christiane Heindl, who in turn is the daughter of Valerie Heidt, daughter of Dr Karl Heidt. Thomas also appears as one of the main characters in the Dutch documentary on the Van Imhoff which was broadcasted in December 2017.

Another descendent with biographic interest is grandson Robin Heidt whose father was born on 26 May 1929 and named after his grandfather Dr. Karl Heidt.

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